Britain's Queen Elizabeth has warned in a rare social issues statement that the ongoing Ebola crisis could divert attention away from other killer diseases, and pave the way for the comeback of malaria.
"She was afraid that malaria will have a comeback because of the fact people are not paying enough attention to it," the Queen reportedly told David Heymann, a professor of infectious disease epidemiology at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine.
A planned abortion debate at Oxford University organized by a pro-life group was shut down this week following intimidation by members of the Student Union's Women's Campaign group. A barrister has accused the college of caving into "criminal intimidation" and not respecting free speech rights.
"We only expected to have the same rights of expression as any other Oxford student society, and we're disappointed that scare tactics proved successful," the Oxford Students for Life group said in a statement on Tuesday.
"Our society exists to defend the rights of the most vulnerable, including the unborn, elderly, and disabled. We think it is essential that Oxford University allows an open debate on these issues. We're confident that most Oxford students would prefer free speech to censorship, and we look forward to continuing this hugely important conversation." more >>
Russian President Vladimir Putin signaled Wednesday that he wants to establish closer ties with North Korea in hopes of improving regional security. Leader Kim Jong Un, meanwhile, is facing a new U.N. resolution accusing his administration of crimes against humanity.
"We maintain friendly relations with one of our neighbors, the Democratic People's Republic of Korea," Putin said in welcoming North Korea's new ambassador to Russia, Reuters reported.
"A further deepening of political ties and trade and economic cooperation is definitely in the interests of the peoples of both countries and ensuring regional stability and security," Putin added. more >>
Southern Baptist ethicist Russell Moore and megachurch pastor Rick Warren, both speaking at a Vatican conference Tuesday, warned that Christians should not succumb to the current sexual revolution or waver on the Biblical truth about sexuality and marriage.
"Western culture now celebrates casual sexuality, cohabitation, no-fault divorce, family redefinition, and abortion rights as parts of a sexual revolution that can tear down old patriarchal systems," said Moore in a prepared statement given during the "Complementarity of Man and Woman" colloquium convened by Pope Francis.
"The Sexual Revolution is not liberation at all, but simply the imposition of a different sort of patriarchy," he continued. "The Sexual Revolution empowers men to pursue a Darwinian fantasy of the predatory alpha-male, rooted in the values of power, prestige, and personal pleasure … We see the wreckage of sexuality as self-expression all around us, and we will see more yet. And the stakes are not merely social or cultural but profoundly spiritual." more >>
The head of the Roman Catholic Church declared during a conference on Monday that marriage is by definition a union of man and woman, defying past claims by some that the Church was considering a change in its views on same-sex unions and sexuality.
Pope Francis remarks came during an address before a Church group known as a Colloquium in which he spoke about the need for strong families and to recognize "man and woman" as the "root of marriage and family."
"It is fitting that you have gathered here in this international colloquium to explore the complementarity of man and woman," stated the pontiff. "This complementarity is at the root of marriage and family, which is the first school where we learn to appreciate our own and others' gifts, and where we begin to acquire the arts of living together." more >>
Pope Francis plans to make his first visit to the United States next September, and his itinerary will include traveling to Philadelphia for the upcoming World Meeting of Families congress. The discussion topics for the meeting are set to focus on contentious issues such as premarital sex, homosexuality, infertility and celibacy, according to the congress' meeting notes.
"I would like to confirm that, God willing, in September 2015 I will go to Philadelphia for the eighth World Meeting of Families," the pope said during his opening speech at the interreligious conference on traditional marriage at the Vatican.
Philadelphia Archbishop Charles J. Chaput told Catholic News Service that he was surprised at the early announcement. "You know usually they don't make these announcements. Four months out is the typical and here we are 10 months away, and the Holy Father said he is coming to Philadelphia," Chaput said. more >>